Metadata standards for Museums

Teaching Staff: Gergatsoulis Emmanuel, Papaioannou Georgios, Kalogeros Eleftherios
Course Code: MUS600
Field: Museology
Course Category: Specific Background
Course Type: Compulsory
Course Level: Undergraduate
Course Language: Greek
Delivery method: Face to face
Semester: 6th
Total Hours: 3
E Class Page:
Short Description:

The subject of the course to get acquainted with metadata encoding standards and schemes as well as with conceptual models used to describe museum objects. Besides, the course aims to study the interoperability and integration between archival, library and museum metadata on the basis of a unified approach to cultural information.

The course begins by presenting Museology as a subfield of Information Science and examining similarities and differences from archival science and librarianship. The features of the most well-known metadata standards and schemas used in museums are then presented. Finally, the CIDOC CRM ontology is presented in detail while emphasizing its use to achieve interoperability and integration of cultural information managed by archives, libraries and museums.

The practice in the laboratory focuses on familiarizing students with the use of museum metadata standards and schemas and the CIDOC CRM ontology.

Objectives - Learning Outcomes:

The aim of the course is to provide students with a comprehensive and in-depth knowledge of the metadata standards and conceptual models used by Museums and other cultural organizations to describe and document intangible and material culture.


Week #1: Museology as a discipline of information science. Similarities and differences from Archival Science and Librarianship.

Week #2: Metadata and Metadata standards for Museums objects.

Week #3: A brief presentation of the metadata standards used in Museums such as VRA Core 4.0, CDWA and CDWA Lite, LIDO, and SPECTRUM.

Week #4: Resource Description Dramework (RDF), Conceptual representation models. Ontologies and ontology languages.

Week #5: RDF Schema.

Week #6: CIDOC CRM ontology: Basic notions.

Week #7: CIDOC CRM: Entities, and entity hierarchy. 

Week #8: CIDOC CRM: Properties, and property hierarchy.

Week #9: Representative entities in CIDOC CRM. 

Week #10: Representative properties in CIDOC CRM. 

Week #11: Applications of CIDOC CRM.

Week #12: Applications of CIDOC CRM.

Week #13: Interoperability of Archival, Bibliographic and Museum metadata using CIDOC CRM.

Suggested Bibliography:

Main bibliography

  • Ivo Maroevic. Museology as a discipline of information sciences. Nordisk Museologi, 2:77-92,1997.
  • VRA Core 4.0 Element Description and Tagging Examples. (Greek Translation from Panorea Gaitanou and Manolis Gergatsoulis. Available at
  • CIDOC CRM Special Interest Group. Definition of the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model. Version 6.2.1, October 2015.
  • Panorea Gaitanou, Manolis Gergatsoulis. Defining a semantic mapping of VRA Core 4.0 to the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model. International Journal of Metadata, Semantics and Ontologies, 7(2):140-156, 2012.
  • Lina Bountouri, Manolis Gergatsoulis. The Semantic Mapping of Archival Metadata to the CIDOC CRM ontology. Journal of Archival Organization, 9(3&4):174-207, 2011.
  • Lina Bountouri, Christos Papatheodorou, Manolis Gergatsoulis. Modelling the Public Sector Information through CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model. In R. Meersman, T. Dillon and P. Herrero (eds.), On the Move to Meaningful Internet Systems: OTM 2010 Workshops (6th International Workshop on Ontology Content (OnToContent 2010)). Crete, Greece, October 25 - 29, 2010. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 6428, pp. 404-413 , Springer-Verlag, 2010.
  • Manolis Gergatsoulis, Lina Bountouri, Panorea Gaitanou, Christos Papatheodorou. Query transformation in a CIDOC CRM based cultural metadata integration environment. In M. Lalmas, J. Jose, A. Rauber, F. Sebastiani and I. Frommholz (eds.), Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries 14th European Conference, ECDL 2010, Glasgow, UK, September 6-10, 2010. Proceedings. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2010, Vol. 6273, pp. 38-45, Springer, 2010. 
  • Thomais Stasinopoulou, Lina Bountouri, Constantia Kakali, Irene Lourdi, Christos Papatheodorou, Martin Doerr, Manolis Gergatsoulis. Ontology-based Metadata Integration in the Cultural Heritage Domain. In D.H.-L. Goh, I. Sølvberg, E. Rasmussen, and T.H. Cao (eds.), Asian Digital Libraries - Looking Back 10 Years and Forging New Frontiers. 10th International Conference on Asian Digital Libraries, ICADL 2007, Hanoi, Vietnam, December 10-13, 2007, Proceedings. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 4822, pp. 165-175, Springer-Verlag, 2007.

Official Web Pages of standards

Teaching Methods:

Lectures making extensive use of visual aids. Practical training takes place in the computer laboratory. Besides, students are required to prepare a number of projects. 

New Technologies:


Evaluation Methods:

Presentation and examination of the student projects in laboratory.


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